The Avengers and other Quick Takes


I went to a family wedding in southern Missouri last weekend. It was quite a culture shock; very suddenly, when I turned onto I-44, I found myself surrounded by John 3:16s, Baptist churches three times the size of my (very large) parish, a Mack truck dealership that took up both sides of the highway, and an NRA museum. It was one of those, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore” moments. And in the brochure/attractions rack at the hotel: the flyer at right. Upon my honor.


Between traveling, parent teacher conferences, early outs, Halloween parties, and four, read that FOUR days off school (okay fine, 3 1/2, but that half day might as well not have existed), I realized I had to write off this entire week for work. And naps, for that matter. Michael’s very flexible these days, but the down side is that he never, ever wants to take a nap. And he used to be so easy to put to bed!


I had a vaguely hysterical moment with Nicholas this week in the car. He sneezed, told himself “bless you,” and kicked off a discussion of the Trinity. At the end of it, he asked thoughtfully, “What if God sneezed?”

I am totally writing a story about that. The Day God Sneezed. Christian and I were having all sorts of fun that night coming up with silly things to include.


November (Photo credit: kurafire)

Speaking of stories…it’s November 1st, which for Catholics is All Saints Day, but for writers kicks off NaNo, National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to write 50,000 words in one month–plant the butt in the chair, stick the fingers on the keyboard, and write. I’m ambivalent about taking on this challenge for several reasons–let’s call it six: Christian, Alex, Julianna, Nicholas, Michael, and Other Commitments. It’s unrealistic for me to think I could average 1666 new words every day. Yet I see the value of it–deadlines work.

So instead I’ve set a different sort of writing goal for November: seven new flash stories, at least half of them not for blog prompt posting. By the end of November, I want to have some new stories ready to send out. Or at least, within striking distance. To the writers among my readership: are you doing NaNo? What’s been your experience?


Time for the obligatory Halloween take. It was a cold one; Michael and I only lasted half an hour, after which we opened up our house for trick-or-treating. He went crazy giving candy to other kids (and scoping out the contents of their baskets. “I’ll trade you one of these for seven of those!” was Christian’s joke). So you can imagine my surprise when a kid ran to the door in a black robe and said, “I’M SUPPOSED TO BE ‘THE SCREAM’ BUT THE MASK IS TOO HOT!”

“Too hot?” I said, but he was already halfway to the street. I traded rueful glances with his dad. “Well, when you run that fast…” he said.


But I know you all were really just coming here for Avengers Family pics, right?

Halloween 004 closeup
Alex as Hawkeye, Michael as the Hulk, Julianna as Captain America, Nicholas as Iron Man, me as Black Widow and Christian as Thor.


I need one more QT, so I’ll offer this: as difficult as Nicholas can be, every so often he has a moment so sweet that it makes it all…well, it helps me see the big picture. Yesterday someone asked him what the best part of his school Halloween party was, and he said, “My mom and Alex and Michael coming to it.” Awwwwwww…….

Happy early November!

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes about rattlesnakes, books, and holidays that should be more fun than they are